Flu season has arrived in Richland County

Flu season has arrived in Richland County

Flu season has arrived in Richland County

This year's strain of influenza is now considered "widespread" in Alabama and is likely to increase, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Lab-confirmed flu cases in the county total 2,083 through January 5, according to the county's weekly influenza report.

While overall this flu season has been moderate in its intensity, of the 11,531 confirmed influenza cases reported as of December 29 this season, 22 per cent have been in children aged four and under while 19 per cent have occurred in people aged five to 19.

The state Department of Health and Human Resources says three new flu fatalities were reported last week, bringing the total this season to 16.

But after the Southern Hemisphere experienced a much milder flu season about six months ago, health experts are hopeful this year won't be as bad.

The most effective way to protect against the flu is to get a dose of seasonal flu vaccine.

Dr. Siiri Bennett, state epidemiologist at the Maine CDC, said that flu season is unpredictable, and can peak at any time. "It's just a slow upward, so we're only at the beginning of flu season right now".

Last flu season in Riverside County, the deaths of 23 people aged 64 or younger were linked with the flu, according to the release.

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Those with flu symptoms are advised to visit their primary care doctor, a Lee Health Convenient Care, walk-in or urgent care center. With a little commitment to these health techniques and vaccination, we can prevent and treat this public health problem.

People who live with or care for infants should be also be vaccinated. To shorten wait times, you can also schedule a flu shot at a time convenient for you by calling 419-774-4700.

In contrast, H1N1 tends to target children and younger adults more than seniors - and flu-trackers like Skowronski say this season is no exception. But in 2014-15, 974 Mainers reported a positive flu test.

The most common symptoms of the flu include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headaches and fatigue.

We agree, getting a flu shot makes sense. Antivirals to treat the flu must be given within 48 hours of the onset of symptoms.

Regular hand washing, getting the flu shot, and sneezing into your arm rather than your hand are important preventive measures.

It can take a few days to about a week or two for flu symptoms to clear up but there are some more serious risks associated with the flu.

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